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Getting a Visa to the United States, a Step-By-Step Guide
Determine Which Type of Visa You Need
All visas to the United States are based on your reason for wanting to visit or live in the country.
If you are coming to visit friends, attend a business function or meeting, or to be a tourist for less than six months, you will need a B (visitor) visa if your country is not part of the visa waiver program.
If you plan to study in the States, you will need an F or M (student) visa.
Au pairs, exchange students and other exchange program participants will be looking for a Q or J visa.
Those who plan to come under employer sponsorship, for a job, will be applying for an H or L visa, while entrepreneurs may be seeking an investor visa.
If you are coming to the States to join family pending a more permanent application, a K visa is in order, while joining permanently means you'll be applying for a green card, which is a resident visa.
These are among the most popular visa types, but there are more, and there are classifications within each type, depending on the further details of your circumstance. If you are not clear on which visa you should apply for, read our guide to find out more.
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